Vipps gifts itself a price lift on digital wrapping paper

Also: State of Scandinavian Banking apps, Product in Norway 2023, When Fraud Goes Wrong: the FTX Trial and Lull yourself to sleep with legalese!

State of Scandinavian banking apps

What can 149 banking apps across Scandinavia tell us about the most important features, best frameworks, and top trends in mobile banking?

Together with Ivan Lé Hjelmeland from Shortcut and Martin Lund, I have created a report on the state of Scandinavian Banking apps based on apps distributed in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. We'll present the findings in Oslo 25. October, Stockholm 26. October, and Copenhagen 27. October.

Join us there and learn how banks across the Nordic region are evolving their mobile banking services to meet the needs of their customers in the digital age. In each country, we are joined by the creators of some of the best-rated apps in the App Store, who will share how they are working with their products:

  • In Oslo, we are joined by Bulder Bank from Sparebanken Vest

  • In Stockholm, we are joined by SBAB

  • In Copenhagen, we are joined by SDC

Vipps Gifts Itself a Price Lift on Wrapping

Last week, VippsMobilepay sent out a mail to all customers stating that they would raise the price of their digital gift wrapping from 5 NOK to 8 NOK. I've previously been quite vocal about my opinion about the feature, but if you come to think of it, the price raise can make sense in multiple ways:

  • Inflation hit the digital paper market hard.

  • Vipps has a lot of expenses for disposal fees when they need to trash all the digital gift paper.

  • Vipps buys the digital gift paper from a third-party gift wrapping API that has raised its prices (kudos to them for finding a niche).

  • The price increase is a savvy move by Vipps to curb excessive giftpaper use - a sustainability initiative to save the digital forests.

  • Vipps decided they needed to up their game in the competitive world of digital gift paper and hired renowned digital paper artists to create custom patterns.

  • High demand led to a digital gift paper shortage. Scarcity creates value, so prices naturally go up.

When Fraud Goes Wrong: Comedy at the FTX Trial

We've previously covered FTX and its spectacular collapse. The fraud trial has started and exposed some not-so-smart coding by former employees that has provided amusing evidence for prosecutors.

The defendants seemed to think they could fool people with some random number generator to pretend an "insurance fund" had real money in it:

Code snippets shown to the jury demonstrated how Nishad Singh wrote some code that would update the insurance fund amount by adding to it the daily trading volume, multiplied by a randomish number around 7,500, and dividing it by a billion, thus making it appear as though the website was referencing a real account balance that was fluctuating as the exchange added funds or withdrew from it to cover losses. In reality, it was all made up.

Note to self: if you're going to write code to do fraud, make it messy and unreadable to reduce the chances it's later put in front of a jury as evidence.

Molly White

Product in Norway 2023

Marius Røstad has launched Product in Norway 2023 - A survey on product management/leadership in Norway with answers from over 200 product managers in Norway. Most of the respondents work in large companies based in Oslo.

Some interesting key insights:

  • Respondents strongly focus on users - over 85% spoke to customers or users within the last month.

  • Respondents care more about organizational challenges than product development challenges.

  • Only a third have a clear product strategy or vision; few validate these with users.

  • Product managers and teams lead decision-making.

  • In the public sector, a lot are basing their prioritization on legal requirements.

  • There is room for more business focus, as financial goals are less important than user metrics for measuring success.

Lull yourself to sleep with legalese!

Ever find yourself struggling to fall asleep counting virtual sheep? A new project called Legal Lullabies has the solution - listening to recitations of lengthy software terms and conditions. It is guaranteed to bore you to sleep in under an hour!

The Lazy Data Research, a Swedish art collective, had the hilarious idea of turning popular social platforms' dry legal language into bedtime stories. Read by a soothing voice; you'll be snoring before you can say "non-transferable license."

The initiative, called Legal Lullabies, comes in two forms: An Instagram version, titled Zzzuckerberg; and a TikTok version, titled Zzzhang. The Instagram version is 51 minutes long, while the TikTok version is nearly 38 minutes long.